Semi trucks are the most common way to transport freight. In America, they are responsible for moving nearly 70% of freight. Trucks cannot haul the freight alone, they require trailers to move the freight. There are many different types of trailers, each having a different purpose. The type of trailer you select depends on the type of load you are going to carry. But, what are the most common trailers used by truckers?
Before investing in a trailer, it’s important to know if you are choosing the right one for the job.
We gathered information and listed the most common trailers used by truckers below:
Flatbed trailers are the most widely used trailers in the trucking industry. Their versatility is what makes flatbeds so common. They are designed to carry bulk cargo and containers to their destinations. Because flatbeds are open from all sides, the loading and unloading process is much easier than other trailers. The flatbed trailer can hold up to 48,000 pounds. Also, it comes in many different sizes: 24ft, 40ft, 45ft, 48ft, and 53 ft. The most common flatbed size is 48ft.
Extendable flatbed trailers
Similar to flatbed trailers, extendable flatbeds are the same except their length is not fixed. Therefore, a 43 feet long flatbed can be extended up to 80 feet, which allows shipments of larger loads.
Step Deck Trailer
Step deck trailers are similar to flatbeds. They are also an open trailer, but the Step deck has two deck levels: the upper deck and lower deck. The difference between the flatbed and step deck is the maximum legal height. Step decks were designed to carry goods that flatbeds cannot.
Lowboy trailers also known as a low-bed, low loader, float, or double-drop trailer have two drops in the deck. They have one drop right behind the gooseneck and the other right before the wheels. These trailers sit low to the ground, which makes them perfect for transporting large items. The most common items transported on lowboy trailers are construction equipment and vehicles.
Just like flatbeds, dry vans are also very common. They are used to transport dry goods: electronics, clothing, groceries. Dry vans or enclosed trailers are quite affordable compared to other trailers. These trailers are fully closed and sealed, which keeps the goods inside protected from weather and security threats.
Refrigerated trailers transport items that need to be kept at a cool temperature. They are very similar to dry vans in looks, except refrigerated trailers have proper insulation and cooling systems.
Stretch Single Drop Deck Trailers
Stretch single drop deck trailers are similar to step deck trailers, with an extendable bed. These trailers were designed to carry loads that are too big for a regular step deck trailer. The extendable bed allows truckers to haul items up to 63 feet in length, as compared to the 37 feet in length on the standard step deck.
Removable Gooseneck Trailer
Removable gooseneck trailers (RGN) are designed to carry both tall and heavy loads. You can detach the front end (gooseneck) of the trailer and carry heavy equipment. Therefore, the trailer can carry up to 150,000 pounds depending on the number of axles the trailer has. The RGN can have up to 20 axles.
Specialty trailers are designed specifically for a product or hazardous material to be hauled. These trailers require a special permit and the truck driver must have to correct licenses. The weight limit for these trailers can be up to 200,000 pounds.
Multi-car trailers are made for hauling multiple vehicles at a time. They can carry up to 8 vehicles. The height for multi-car trailers cannot exceed 11.6 feet because of the overpass heights.